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Hello Moto: The new Moto G is a safe bet

By Manu Shankar
October 11, 2014 15:34 IST
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A bigger screen, improved camera and speakers are the USP of the new Moto G. But it’s not a phone that would make you jump up and run for the phone, but it’s a safe bet, says Manu Shankar.

For someone who has grown up listening to ‘Hello Motto’ ringtone, it was a bit of heartbreak when the news broke that Motorola is moving out of India, a couple of years ago.

Come 2014, and things have changed dramatically. Backed by Lenovo, Motorola is well and truly back into the Rs 7,000 crore Indian domestic phone market.

India has the most competitive market for cell phones today because of the sheer number of brands. Coming back into the market with the launch of Moto X, Motorola also unveiled the Moto G and Moto E smartphones in double quick time, which set the budget phones segment on fire.

With Moto G (Gen 2), Motorola is back in the race. Manu Shankar/Rediff.com takes a hard look at the phone that once again is getting people to say ‘Hello Motto’.

Design and hardware

Moto G (Gen 2)

Photograph Courtesy: Motorola

An overall increase in size is the first thing that one would notice in the new Moto G, though the difference is hardly noticeable at the first glance.

The Moto G (Gen 2) is taller and wider and comes with a 5-inch screen.

The plastic finish, which seems to have been part and parcel of all mobiles these days, continues, but it does come up with customisations, thanks to its replaceable back cover. The white unit had nice curves and edges, which felt pretty good in hand. The front face is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

The 3.5mm audio jack is placed as usual on the top, with the power and volume rockers on the right and micro USB port at the bottom. The LED notification (which by the way is white in colour) ensures that you don’t miss anything important.

Running on the same Snapdragon 400 quad-core chip that runs at 1.2GHz as its predecessor, the Moto G (Gen 2) has the Adreno 305 graphics processor.

Display and software

The screen is pretty good in Moto G (Gen 2) and the 5-inch IPS display feels like a nice upgrade, with good viewing angles even in the sunlight.

The colours appear deeper than normal, in its 720x1280-pixel resolution display.

With Android 4.4.4 KitKat, the Moto G (Gen 2), has more or less opted to stay with the original one, with Migrate, Assist and Alert the only new features.

Google Play provides endless apps, besides the pre-installed ones on the unit.

Camera

Boasting of an 8-megapixel camera, the Moto G (Gen 2) clicks some nice shots in daylight.

However, it struggles in low-light conditions, and pictures tend to get washed out when using the LED flash.

The front facing camera, which is 2 megapixel, takes decent selfies, but again depends on the lighting conditions.

The 720p video records at 30 FPS, but it lacks optical stabilisation. But one major let down is the lack of auto-focus, which is a sort of a bummer, considering Motorola has put a thought in its camera upgrade.

Battery

The Moto G (Gen 2) ensures it stays with the 2070mAh battery, which ensures smooth running of the unit throughout the day.

IT lasted more than a day with activities such as music listening, emailing, messaging, social networking, surfing and with phone calls.

Conclusion

A bigger screen, improved camera and speakers are the USP of the new Moto G. But it’s not a phone that would make you jump up and run for the phone, but it’s a safe bet.

At Rs 12,999, it perhaps towers above the rest in an all-round segment.

Also Read Moto X (Gen 2): Good smartphone, bad pricing

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Manu Shankar
Related News: Motorola, USP, IPS, LED, USB
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